DL Shuffling, What it Really Means

We’re getting reports from camp that there are some defensive line shuffling, mainly between Jay Ratliff and Marcus Spears. If you’ve been following the Cowboys for awhile you know that players that get moved around are either on the bubble or not performing upto par. Just go back to some recent training camps where players have been shuffled around and/or their position roles changed all together.

What we’re seeing here is the desperate measures the Cowboys are doing to get some value out of a former first rounder in Marcus Spears. This whole shuffling issue has last ditch measures for Spears written all over it. Jay Ratliff has nothing to be concerned, if anything, Spears should be the one concerned about the shuffling. Here’s Ratliff concerns over the shuffling:

“This is kinda of a a shock to me. I play nose. Pretty much all my game film has been nose or inside. I really don’t have any game film outside. I’ll get used to it.” The coaches don’t want Ratliff on the sidelines. They want him on the field. As of right now, the coaches want to mix and match some players around.

“That was kind of the thing I heard [Wade Phillips] wanted to mix and match guys,” Ratliff said. “Then it was they wanted a bigger body inside, we’ll just see what happens.” (DMNBlog)

To me Ratliff is a starter, and so is Jason Hatcher, leave Ratliff up the middle menacing QBs, and let Hatcher do the same at DE, these two guys have motors and that’s what we need on defense.

I’m sure the Cowboys will have a role for Spears this year, but it won’t be as a starter, right now they are seeing where they can rotate him the best. His days are numbered, plain and simple. Defensive line coach can say: “What you’re doing is creating depth,” DL coach Todd Grantham. “That’s all you’re doing.”

While this may be what he is saying to the media, sugar coated with all its politically correctiveness, the reality is that he’s working hard to find a role for Spears.

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